Updated: 19/10/16 : 06:36:05
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Rosses Point to host Maritime Heritage event

A  Maritime Heritage event will take place in Rosses Point Sligo this weekend 21 - 23 October.

It is a series of exciting talks on Irish Antarctic explorers, seafaring, shipwrecks and survival, in the beautiful setting of Rosses Point, a seafaring village with a rich maritime heritage. The programe offers plenty for armchair explorers, history and archaeology buffs and those who just enjoy a little salt with their tall tales.

Michael Smith, the best-selling author of An Unsung Hero – Tom Crean and an authority on the history of Polar exploration is the keynote speaker. He is responsible for generating widespread popular interest in Irish explorers and getting Tom Crean’s life adopted onto the Irish schools curriculum.

His latest book, Shackleton – By Endurance We Conquer, is the first biography of Shackleton in 30 years. He has written nine books, appeared on TV and radio and lectured at many venues including: National Library of Ireland, National Museum of Ireland, Princess Grace Memorial Library Monaco, Queen’s Gallery Buckingham Palace, Queen’s University Belfast, the Royal Geographical Society and the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge. As this is the centenary year of the Imperial Trans antarctic Expedition under the command of Irishman Sir Ernest Shackleton, there is huge interest in the story of the Endurance and the crew's dramatic rescue.

Antarctic traveller Eugene Furlong, will be speaking about his role in having the cabin of Shackleton's The Quest repatriated from Norway to the Shackleton Museum in Athy. Shackleton’s died on board at South Georgia during his last voyage to the Antarctic. Eugene is currently raising the profile of little known Irishman Edward Bransfield who rose to become an officer in the British Royal Navy, after being impressed into service at the age of eighteen in Ireland. Bransfield is reputedly the first person to identify the landmass of Antarctica.

Joe McGowan is a Sligo historian and author. He will speak about the famine ship The Carricks of Whitehaven, which in 1847 left the port of Sligo with passengers from Lord Palmerstown's estate bound for Canada. The ship sank in a terrible storm in sight of shore. Authorities in Canada have recently identified the mass grave of the Sligo famine victims.

Jarlath Cunnanne, winner of the prestigious The Blue Water Medal of the Cruising Club of America which "rewards meritorious seamanship and adventure upon the sea displayed by amateur sailors of all nationalities, that might otherwise go unrecognized". Medallists have included such luminaries of the sailing world as Sir Francis Chichester. Jarlath will be speaking about his blue water sailing expeditions including Northabout on Franklin's trail, The Northeast Passage over the roof of Russia, and South Arís, retracing the James Caird crossing of the Southern Ocean.

Auriel Robinson is a Wild Atlantic Way Ambassador for Sligo. With a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Archaeology & Geography, a Masters Degree in Maritime Archaeology and 17 years’ experience working as an archaeologist and in heritage, she set up Seatrails in 2013 and took the award for ’Ocean Hero Business of the Year Award 2015’. Auriel’s trails are listed in numerous international travel guide books. Her ’shellfish experience’ is listed in the new and refreshing ’Sligo food Trail’ booklet 2016. Seatrails also has recently been nominated and shortlisted for the 2017 Luxury Travel Guide European Awards. Auriel will be speaking about Sligo’s rich coastal heritage, the Armada and the escape of Captain Francisco de Cuellar .

David Butler animator, director, producer, artist and illustrator has recently published a graphic novel about the voyage of the James Caird, the small open boat which crossed 800 miles of the southern ocean to raise a rescue party for 22 marooned crew members of the Endurance. The boat was crewed by, among others, three Irish men, Crean, McCarthy and Shackleton, whose feats of bravery on that voyage 100 years ago have become the stuff of maritime legend. David is giving a workshop with Michael Smith at the Sea Scout den in Rosses Point. This is a particularly fitting event as the Sea Scouts are 50 years in Rosses Point this year. Its a little known fact that Shackleton brought two sea scouts with him on his final voyage to the Antarctic. Michael's book, Tom Crean - Ice Man is on the junior schools curriculum. This workshop is closed to Scouts only.

Dr. John Treacy is an Honorary Research Officer at Maritime Institute of Ireland & National Maritime Museum of Ireland. Dr Treacy will be speaking about 70 years of The Irish Naval Service and the repatriation of WB Yeats for burial to Drumcliff, Sligo aboard the Macha.

Tickets to the talk by Michael Smith and Eugene Furlong on Friday 21, 7.30 – 9.30 pm at Sligo Yacht Club are €10.00 through Eventbrite. Tickets for other talks over the weekend are €5 and will be available at venue doors. Numbers are limited so it is advisable to come early. The workshop with David Butler and Michael Smith is closed to Scouts only. Further information and ticket link can be found on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Maritime-Heritage-Weekend-265702417097593/


Maritime Heritage Weekend Programme
Rosses Point 21 - 23 October 2016

Friday 21st 7.30- 9.30pm Adm: €10
Sligo Yacht Club, Rosses Point

Michael Smith
"Ireland's Antarctic Explorers"

Eugene Furlong
"Shackleton's Last Ship & The Cabin of The Quest"


Saturday 22nd 12 - 2pm 
Rosses Point Sea Scout Den

David Butler
"How to Create Your Your Own Graphic Art Novel"

Michael Smith 
Shackleton, The Sea Scouts & Tom Crean Ice Man"

*(This is workshop is closed to Scouts only)


Saturday 22nd 3 - 5pm Adm €5
Austies Bar & Restaurant, Rosses Point

Dr. John Treacy
"70 Years of The Irish Naval Service & The Repatriation of WB Yeats to Drumcliff Aboard Macha"

Joe McGowan
"The Wreck of The Carricks of Whitehaven"


Saturday 22nd 7.30 - 9.30pm Adm €5
Harrys Bar, Rosses Point.

Michael Smith 
"Ernest Shackleton - Ireland's Greatest Explorer"

Eugene Furlong 
"Shackleton's Last Ship & The Cabin of The Quest"


Sunday 23rd 12 - 2pm Adm €5 
Sligo Yacht Club, Rosses Point

Auriel Robinson
"Sligo's Coastal Heritage, The Armada & The Escape of Captain Francesco De Cuellar"

Jarlath Cunnane
"South Arís - Retracing The Voyage of The James Caird, Northabout - On Franklin's Trail & The Northeast Passage - Over The Roof of Russia"